March 23, 2006

HELEN A HANDBASKET (via Glenn Dryfoos):

Right invasion, wrong explanation (Jonah Goldberg, March 23, 2006, LA Times)

THE BEST MOMENT of political theater at the president's news conference this week came when that thespian carbuncle of bile, Helen Thomas, hung a question mark at the end of a diatribe. The "dean" of the White House press corps all but called President Bush a lying warmonger who invaded Iraq for no legitimate reason.

Thomas lost the exchange, but the sad truth is that her side has won the larger argument. Ever since the controversy over the "16 words" in Bush's 2002 State of the Union address — in which the president alleged that Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa — the administration has been gun-shy about defending its original decision to invade. That's understandable, given the consequences of that episode: Not only did it make the White House seem inept, it made former U.S. Ambassador Joe Wilson and his very important hair a permanent fixture of the media firmament.

It is now simply taken as a given inside this White House that having an argument about why we invaded Iraq is a political loser. So the president prefers to talk democracy, not WMD.

Which is why we should have done Syria by now, offering as the sole explanation that the Syrian people deserve a legitimate regime.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 23, 2006 5:30 PM

The drive-you-up-the-wall, last straw that breaks your back fact is that Iraq did try to buy Uranium in Africa.

Posted by: David Cohen at March 23, 2006 5:36 PM

And Wilson's trip report substantiated that view. It's the big lie and they're good at it.

Assad is going down. I think it'll be a coup followed by immense pressure to democratize.

Posted by: JAB at March 23, 2006 5:49 PM

"Not only did it make the White House seem inept"

It walks and talks like a duck.

Posted by: exclab at March 23, 2006 6:03 PM

"Which is why we should have done ... by now." (Insert country). When the Amish outnumber the Muslims, then and only then, will our safety be secure.

Posted by: AllenS at March 23, 2006 6:20 PM

James Knox Polk lied; people died.

Assume that is so. Do we know give Californis and most of the western U.S. back to Mexico and apologize for the whole thing?

Posted by: Lou Gots at March 23, 2006 6:20 PM

David's right, as usual. The MSM have proven that they still exert enough control over the message to seriously damage a President and a war effort. I hope they're proud of their little victory, because it ain't gonna last. There is now a major backlash afoot, and one of its many battlegrounds will be the Scooter Libby trial. The MSM under cross will be a pitiful spectacle, but there will no tears in this household.

Bush is Jacksonian in a variety of ways. In this case, he's like Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans. The MSM will be bloody and routed by Fall.

Posted by: ghostcat at March 23, 2006 7:42 PM

NRO has been just as harsh on the president and his explanation for the war and has shown little support for Bush. Heck Buckley and half the NRO staff want out of Iraq. But of course it is Bush's fault, not NRO's.

Posted by: AWW at March 23, 2006 8:54 PM

Sign of the times, ghostcat? Our local liberal rag ran the headline, "Troops Rescue 3 ... ," not, "Hostages Released" as some internet news outlets reported yesterday.

Perhaps the embarrassment of their headlines about the massive anti-war marches that didn't materialize had something to do with it?

Posted by: erp at March 24, 2006 11:00 AM